Iran shot down plane with two Russian-made missiles, US official says
The Ukrainian plane that crashed Wednesday was shot down by two Russian-made surface to air missiles (SA-15), according to a US official familiar with the intelligence.
The US saw Iranian radar signals lock onto the jetliner, before it was shot down.
The morning after the incident, US analysts discovered the data but took another day to verify.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopes a thorough investigation will produce answers to why the Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines jet crashed after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday.
"I am willing to talk to anyone to get answers," Trudeau said in a televised address from Ottawa.
Of the 176 people killed, 63 were Canadian.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deflected when asked about the United States' role in the Ukrainian airliner crash.
Asked how much responsibility the US bears for the crash given the tension in the region, here's what Trudeau said:
"The evidence suggests that this is the likely cause, but we need to have a full and complete and credible investigation to establish exactly what happened. That is what we are calling for and that is what we're expecting will happen."
"It is too soon to be drawing conclusions," Trudeau later said, adding that there needs to be a thorough investigation first.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadian officials have intelligence from their own sources and Canada's allies that shows Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
"This may have been unintentional," Trudeau said today, adding that international partners should be involved in the investigation.
Trudeau added: "It is extremely important that there be a thorough and credible investigation."
Iranian authorities have indicated that they want to keep the plane's black boxes within the country, Trudeau said.
Watch Trudeau's remarks:
Ukraine has called on its international partners to provide any evidence they might have that would shed light on the crash of the Ukrainian airliner, the Office of the President of Ukraine said in a statement on Thursday.
"Today the President of Ukraine has had telephone conversations with leaders of several countries, including the Prime Ministers of Canada and Sweden, the President of Iran. Our country is interested in finding the truth. Therefore, we turn to Ukraine's international partners: if you have any evidence to assist the investigation, please provide it," the statement said.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority head, Ali Abedzadeh, told CNN the country may need outside help to decode the black box on the Ukrainian airliner because it is damaged.
"Generally speaking, Iran has the potential and know-how to decode the black box. Everybody knows that," he said.
However, Abedzadeh said, “the black box of this very Ukrainian Boeing 737 is damaged. Ukrainian Aviation experts arrived here in Tehran today. We had a session with them. From tomorrow they will start decoding the data.”
He added: “If the available equipment is not enough to get the content,” Iran will outsource the boxes to “the experts from France or Canada.”
“Then whatever is the result will be published and publicized to the world," Abedzadeh said.
More on this: CNN’s aviation expert Richard Quest said the important point here is Iran will need the help of very experienced people to download the data if the boxes are damaged.
Quest said it is unlikely the boxes would be opened if damaged. If damaged, they would only be opened under the most exacting circumstances. Quest said data cannot be read until the boxes are opened, the data is downloaded and then analyzed. French or Canadian aviation officials would have the needed experience and equipment to do this.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the plane crash.
More context: The Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) flight PS752 came down just minutes after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday local time, killing all 176 people on board, including dozens of Iranians and Canadians. The Boeing 737-800 was headed for Kiev, where 138 passengers were expected to take a connecting flight to Canada.
European security officials said they believe that reports suggesting that the Ukrainian airliner was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile in error are credible.
The head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority is questioning the US allegation that Iran mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran.
“If a rocket or missile hits a plane, it will free fall," Ali Abedzadeh told CNN.
He said once the plane took off, it continued flying for five minutes. Abedzadeh said “the pilot tried to return to the airport but failed.”
Abedzadeh went on to ask, “How can a plane be hit by rocket or missile” and then the pilot “try to turn back to the airport?”